Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News for airing false claims alleging fraud by the voting machine company, The New York Times reports.
The company is seeking at least $1.6 billion in damages after Fox hosts and guests pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion machines in states like Georgia flipped votes from Donald Trump to President Joe Biden in a scheme former Trump attorney Sidney Powell -- who is facing her own lawsuit -- claimed was tied to dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, and communists in China and Cuba.
Fox already faces a separate $2.7 billion lawsuit from the voting tech company Smartmatic, which some Fox hosts and guests linked to the baseless Dominion conspiracy theory even though the two companies appear to have no ties at all and Smartmatic’s software was only used in Los Angeles County.
Dominion has also sued Powell, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for over $1 billion.
Lawsuit accuses Fox of lies:
“The truth matters,” the Dominion lawsuit says. “Lies have consequences. Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”
Hosts like Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs -- who has since been fired -- spread the conspiracy theories.
“Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire,” the lawsuit says. “As the dominant media company among those viewers dissatisfied with the election results, Fox gave these fictions a prominence they otherwise would never have achieved.”
Dominion said it lost big contracts in Georgia and Louisiana as a result of the claims.
"FOX News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” Fox News said in a statement.
The company previously filed a motion seeking to dismiss Smartmatic’s suit, arguing that it was simply covering important events.
“An attempt by a sitting president to challenge the result of an election is objectively newsworthy,” the motion said.